A video which was first produced in 2014 — showing a 13-year-old kid from Virginia being sold a gun — is once again going viral on the internet in the wake of Parkland’s school shooting last week.
The Parkland massacre has renewed the debate surrounding gun reform with a vigor hitherto unseen in the reaction to other mass shootings in America. In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, several student survivors who had lost their friends during the tragedy took to the streets in Florida’s Fort Lauderdale to address lawmakers who are funded by the NRA. Students called for an end to the vicious political culture that promotes guns, asking president Donald Trump and Congress to take affirmative action against gun violence.
The protest and the consequent media attention it garnered prompted students, parents, and teachers from all around the country to support the spontaneous movement calling for gun reform, with celebrities such as George Clooney, Steven Spielberg, and Oprah Winfrey pledging $500,000 each to the effort. On March 24, students from all over the U.S. are expected to descend on Washington in what is being billed as the largest student protest in modern political history.
Last night, Americans witnessed a nationally televised town hall meeting consisting of members of the Parkland student community, teachers, and parents, as well as Florida’s Republican Senator Marco Rubio and the spokesperson of the NRA, Dana Loesch. It was a simmering affair by all accounts, where Rubio was booed and Loesch had to answer questions on the history of the Second Amendment by a history teacher.
Wayne LaPierre, the head of the NRA, said of Democrats: “What they want are more restrictions on the law-abiding. Think about that, their solution is to make you, all of you, less free.” https://t.co/KprLvDHVrE
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 22, 2018
The same day, Donald Trump proposed that lawmakers must look into possibilities of trained teachers carrying concealed weapons on them — an idea which was not only scorned by gun reform advocates but even the likes of Rubio because of it being an “impractical” solution.
On Thursday morning, NRA chief Wayne LaPierre suggested that socialism was on the rise in the United States, claiming that people who are using the Parkland shooting to talk about gun reform are those who “oppose our fundamental freedoms enshrined in the bill of rights,” as reported by the Guardian.
Even as he was giving his speech at a conference of NRA supporters, a video originally from a 2014 segment of HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel began trending on the internet. It showed a “social experiment” in which a 13-year-old was told to buy things — an attempt to see which things he would not be allowed to buy. As seen in the video, the boy is refused beers, cigarettes, adult magazines, and even lottery tickets, but when it comes to guns, the seller is happy to sell it to him.
“It should shoot pretty good for you.”